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Diagnosing Rosacea In Five Minutes Or Less


A significant number of rosaceans have reported that their visit to the dermatologist lasted five minutes or less. Yes, it is possible to get a correct diagnosis of rosacea in five minutes or less but you also might be misdiagnosed. There is no data on what percentage of patients are misdiagnosed but the facts are that you could be misdiagnosed. What do the facts reveal?

A joint survey of 1009 participants by Galderma/NRS reveals this paragraph:

"The results, which are part of the national educational campaign Rosacea SKINsights sponsored by Galderma Laboratories, also reveal the lengths that women with rosacea would go to if they could get rid of their rosacea forever, and highlight the low awareness and complicated diagnosis path for this common condition. On average, women with rosacea waited at least seven months before receiving a correct diagnosis, and only half of respondents had ever heard of the condition upon the time of diagnosis. This reveals the high level of misunderstanding and confusion that surrounds rosacea, a chronic disorder primarily of the facial skin, often characterized by flare-ups and remissions." [1]

I was told that what the above paragraph meant about the women waiting 'at least seven months before receiving a correct diagnosis' was simply that "The survey doesn't say it took a doctor 7 months to arrive at a correct diagnosis but it took the person [women] 7 months to get a correct diagnosis which is a very different story." [2]

So after much thought on this subject I read the paragraph again and noticed that the last sentence in the paragraph says:

"This reveals the high level of misunderstanding and confusion that surrounds rosacea, a chronic disorder primarily of the facial skin, often characterized by flare-ups and remissions." [1]

So if Melissa is correct what that means is that the person who has a high level of confusion about rosacea isn't the doctor, it is the patient [woman] who is confused. This seems like a logical conclusion since the statement is referring to the survey. The above paragraph states that the survey does 'highlight the low awareness and complicated diagnosis path for this common condition.' So according to Melissa, if I get her logic straight, but sometimes I simply get it all wrong, this means that the women have a 'low awareness and complicated diagnosis path for this common condition.' Obviously the deduction from Melissa's statement quoted above is that the doctor is totally aware and it isn't complicated to a doctor, so the women are the ones confused. Do you agree? Personally I don't think the women are the only ones confused. 

Could it be possible that both the doctor and the women are confused having a 'high level of misunderstanding and confusions that surrounds rosacea'? The survey says it took seven months to arrive at a correct diagnosis. Do you agree with Melissa that the women are confused and have a 'low awareness and complicated diagnosis path' for rosacea? Doesn't the survey also reveal something about the doctors?

I don't agree that the women are totally responsible for this low awareness and complicated diagnosis and the doctors have no complicity in this. I think the survey reveals that when women go to their doctor that they have seven months before they receive a correct diagnosis that this doesn't depend on the confusion of the women totally but instead the confusion is the result of physicians who may or may not give them a correct diagnosis. I have written quite a bit on how misdiagnosis of rosacea does indeed happen. [3]

I have also written an editorial of what kind of visit you would receive to get a correct diagnosis of rosacea and what you can do to prepare yourself for such a visit with a dermatologist. [4]

If your GP or non dermatologist physician diagnoses you with rosacea you might want to get a second opinion from a dermatologist. “I think rosacea is the most overdiagnosed thing that comes into my office from nondermatologists,” said Michael Gold, M.D., a dermatologist in private practice in Nashville, Tenn. [5]

So it may be quite possible that the women in the survey went to their GP first and possibly to another physician before finally getting a correct diagnosis after seven months. If it takes seven months to get a correct diagnosis it may be because rosacea is a complicated diagnosis path. Wouldn't you agree?

"Busy doctors who cannot take a detailed history will frequently miss the diagnosis, complicated further by the fact that rosacea is a great mimic of other unrelated disorders that present with a 'red face'." [6]

"To conclude, demodicidosis is often misdiagnosed as rosacea owing to their similar presentations. Subtle differentiating clues may often be overlooked in a busy practice." [7]

While the majority of patient visits to a dermatologist probably receives a correct diagnosis, it is possible that a brief visit of five minutes or less might be one of the reasons why there are reports of misdiagnosis, and the reports continue.  I obtained most of the data to write this article from a thread I started in RF about this subject years ago. [2]

Many rosaceans have a scant knowledge how a diagnosis of rosacea is obtained. Rosacea 101 will get you up to speed. 

What about your diagnosis for rosacea, what was your experience? Was it a brief visit of five minutes or less? Did you get a correct diagnosis the first time you went to a physician? Was your rosacea misdiagnosed? What are your thoughts on this subject? Add your voice to this thread by posting your comment at the bottom of this article. 


[1] New Survey Reveals First Impressions May Not Always Be Rosy For People With The Widespread Skin Condition Rosacea, Medical News Today, 5 Apr 2010

Note about the above survey: "The survey was taken by 1,009 members of the general population and 502 women with rosacea, equaling 1,511 survey respondents in total."

[2] How long did it take your dermatologist to diagnose rosacea?, The Rosacea Forum - See Melissa's post, scroll to post #78

[3] Misdiagnosed Rosacea
Articles, References and Anecdotal Reports, Rosacea Research & Development Institute

[4] Diagnosing Rosacea

What you should know post by Brady Barrows

[5] Skin and Allergy News, July 2005
High Beam Research
Speakers at an annual Hawaii dermatology seminar sponsored by the Skin Disease Education Foundation.

[6] A Personal Critique on the State of Knowledge of Rosacea Albert M. Kligman , M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.

[7] Indian J Dermatol. 2016 Jul-Aug; 61(4): 453–454.
Clues to Facial Demodicidosis: A Case Illustration
Vishal Gupta, Riti Bhatia, Deepika Yadav, and Neena Khanna

Post Script

Is Rosacea A ‘Complicated Diagnosis Path’ And Mysterious Disorder?
 A thread on this subject at R-F if you are interested in more info.

A thread at RF, When a red face isn't rosacea is everyones doctor checking?, discusses a similar subject, of whether or not doctors are taking the time to rule out other skin conditions that mimic rosacea. 

Edited by Admin

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